Spokesman of the Tinubu Presidential Campaign, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has denied reports credited to him that Bola Ahmed Tinubu will run Nigeria exactly like Buhari if elected President in 2023.
Media reports (not THEWILL), had on Friday, quoted the junior minister for Labour and Employment, to have remarked that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), will run on the same template of President Muhammadu Buhari if he is elected president in 2023.
Keyamo was quoted to have made the remarks in response to earlier statement by former APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The former Governor of Edo State had on Thursday, on Arise TV, extricated Tinubu from the failure of the Buhari regime.
Oshiomhole reportedly said that the former Lagos State governor, Tinubu, has not been part of the Buhari’s government since 2015.
But during an interview on Channels TV on Friday, Keyamo, who said Oshiomhole was misinterpreted by the media, was quoted to have said: “It is the same APC template that both leaders (Buhari and Tinubu) will use.
“I saw one misleading headline from one of the papers yesterday and I laughed. It was misleading, misinterpreting what one of our leaders said. That we were distancing ourselves from the records of Buhari. That is utter nonsense. Like I said, we are proud of the record of the APC.”
But the Minister, in a swift rebuttal on Saturday, described the statement credited to him as fake news
Keyamo in a tweet titled, “Purveyors of Fake News”, restated the position of Tinubu, on the policies of the Buhari Administration.
He said the Buhari administration has done well in terms of infrastructure, rail and agriculture, adding that Tinubu is prepared to employ additional tools and tactics towards tackling security in the country.
He wrote: “To put purveyors of fake headlines out of business, this is our position:
“There’re areas where PMBs Govt has done exceedingly well:
infrastructure, rail, agriculture, etc. Our @officialABAT will continue with those revolutionary strides, but also seek to improve on them.
“There’re areas of security challenges that have improved significantly, e.g farmers-herders’ clashes, North-East insurgency, etc;
“As for new areas of security challenges, e.g banditry and
kidnappings in the N/West, @officialABAT is prepared to employ additional tools and tactics to complement the present work in
progress, in order to totally eradicate them if Nigerians graciously give him their mandate”, the tweets @fkeyamo, read.
The deposed Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, says he will continue to speak and air his views to defend and rebuild Nigeria.
Sanusi, who is also the current Khalifah, Tijaniyat Movement of Nigeria, said this in Abuja on Saturday at a stage play titled “Emir Sanusi: Truth in Time.’’
The play was written by a professor of Drama at the Redeemer University, Ahmed Yerima, and produced by the Executive Chairman, Duke of Somolu Productions, Mr Joseph Edgar.
The 14th Emir said he had what it took to contribute to nation-building because of his long history of service to the country.
He said he served as the Chief Risk Officer at the United Bank for Africa, and at First Bank, and also as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; as Emir of Kano for six years and Khalifah, Tijaniyat Movement of Nigeria.
Sanusi said that he would be ungrateful to God if he expressed regret or sadness over his removal as emir in spite of positions he occupied in life.
“I don’t think that God has taken anything away from me. So, I have no regret.
“I turned 61 years last year and in those years, I had the honour of having been the Chief Risk Officer at United Bank for Africa and the Chief Risk Officer at First Bank.
“I was Governor of Central Bank, Emir of Kano and now Khalifah, Tijaniyat Movement of Nigeria.
“If I have sadness, then I’m ungrateful. How many people have had the opportunity to be just one of those things?’’ he observed.
Sanusi added that many traditional rulers held leadership positions such as army generals, governors, Nigeria Customs chief and others before they were appointed traditional rulers.
According to him, these traditional rulers gave their bits to serve this country.
“We have a long history of service to this country. My father, as the first Director-General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, set up the agency in 1960, the record is there to see.
“My parents, grandparents and great grandparents gave their lives to build this country.
“We will continue to devote energy to build this country. It doesn’t belong to anyone; it belongs to all of us,’’ Emir Sanusi stressed.
He said if he had a choice between sacrificing his principles and holding on to position, he would give up the position.
“History is always the best judge. The things that I said would happen, that caused me so much trouble, have happened.
“For me, I have absolutely no regret and I will continue to speak and voice my views. I will continue to defend this country,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the playwright, Yerima said what motivated him to write the play was when Lamido was appointed as Emir, he prayed: “O Allah, let me die on the throne.’’
He said he wanted people to watch how destiny prevailed on Sanusi’s grandfather, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi who spent 10 years before he was removed and Sanusi, the grandson who spent six years before he was also removed.
“Also, they lived and live in a society. So, we want viewers to see the society’s attitudes towards their service to humanity,’’ he said.
The producer of the play, Edgar said it was the 14th edition produced by Duke of Somolu Productions.
“With a budget over N40 million, this production is truly historical,’’ he said.
Edgar thanked the more than 35 sponsors of the play who took over 50 per cent of the budget for their support.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was dethroned as Emir of Kano in March 2020 by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, citing “total disrespect to lawful instructions from the Office of the Governor.’’
Former lawmaker, Dino Melaye, has said that the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu considers the presidency his retirement plan.
Sharing his thoughts on the political ambition of Tinubu via his Facebook page, the recently appointed spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s campaign said that the former Lagos governor was contesting the presidency to fulfil his “lifetime ambition”.
Speaking further, he berated the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, over his comment on his employer in a recent TV interview, Malaye stated that unlike Tinubu the PDP’s candidate is contesting with rich credentials.
His words: “Atiku Abubakar is running for the presidency for the second or third time and he understands this route better than the political virgin, Tinubu, that you (Keyamo) are supporting who is running for the presidency for the first time and sees it as his life entitlement and retirement benefits for supporting Buhari.
“Atiku has rich credentials and he is not running because of entitlements. He is not running because he supports any party. He is running because he’s got the credentials and he is a team player. He is a talent hunter and leader per excellence.”
He went on to condemn Keyamo’s comment on Atiku, describing it as shameful, very embarrassing and a disgrace”.
He said: “Keyamo’s inactive ministerial sojourn is affecting him. Because if he has succeeded as a minister he won’t be talking the way he is talking. Many Nigerians will tell you today they don’t know the ministry where Keyamo is working because he is redundant, inactive and invisible and he has been completely consumed by the aura of Ngige, the superior minister.
“Because Keyamo is a commercialised conscience and he has monetised his life that is why he will not understand that the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has some ministries, agencies and government parastatals under his direct supervision.
“What he has done is that he has disrespected the office of the vice president of Nigeria as a lawyer who understands the constitutionality, enormous responsibilities of that office.”
Douye Diri, the governor of Bayelsa State, has denied that he and Seriake Dickson, the current Bayelsa-West representative in the National Assembly, had any political differences.
According to Diri, when political activity increased, certain people and groups started fabricating stories based on their presumptions.
In a statement released in Yenagoa on Saturday by his chief press secretary, Daniel Alabrah, he claimed that the rumored conflict was the work of troublemakers determined to drive a fictitious and perceived wedge between him, Dickson, and other members of their political family in the People’s Democratic Party.
The governor said, “Deliberately, I chose to ignore such irresponsible but obviously sponsored reports, largely on the social media space and online platforms. Consistent with my character, temperament, and governance ideals, I have restrained and directed my media aides from joining issues or responding to some of these spiteful reports.”
Instilling peace and bringing the populace together, according to Diri, was one of his duties as a leader and governor.
He also emphasized that this was the key to effective leadership and the growth of the state.
“At every opportunity, I have unfailingly acknowledged and given due respect to my predecessors, in particular the man that handed the governance baton to me. It is therefore an exercise in futility for those trying to sow seeds of discord. For the benefit of the doubt, I have no rift with my predecessor. Our relationship remains cordial and mutually respectful.
“I, therefore, urge our people to ignore such reports and regard them as the handiwork of mischief-makers that do not mean well for our state and its progress. My administration is on the course, remains focused, and cannot be distracted regardless of how much our detractors try,” he added.
First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) workers under the aegis of Employee Giving and Volunteering Scheme on Saturday, donated surgical equipment for free Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) repairs in Sokoto state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the support was part of the
Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness (SPARK) initiative by the workers.
Alhaji Adamu Gambo, Group Head, Northwest II Group of FBN, said the 2022 SPARK amplification event targetted fistula patients at Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital, Sokoto.
Gambo said that the initiative involved the staff donating money and creating time to execute noble engagements in the society.
“The initiative focuses on creating and reinforcing attitudes which go beyond meeting people’s material needs but to show compassion, civility and charity,” he said.
He explained that first bank places premium on corporate responsibility and sustainability as it remains committed to impacting positively on its host communities.
”We are proud of being woven into the fabric of the society.
“This is a wholesome approach that involves meeting the needs of our stakeholders both presently and in the future.
”Our corporate responsibility approach, structurally delivers value along the core pillars of education, health and welfare,” he said.
Gambo said his team identified Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital due to its consistency in rendering VVF services to victims.
”We admire your strength, tenacity, resilience and infectious disposition to improve the quality of individuals’ lives.
“We urge the hospital’s management to view the equipment as a token of love and kindness while we hope to render more assistance in the future,” he said.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Bello Lawal, commended the staff for the donation, pledging that the equipment would be judiciously utilised.
“VVF is an abnormal opening between the bladder and the vagina which results in continuous and unremitting urinary incontinence.
“The disease is among the most distressing complications of gynecologic and obstetric procedures.
“The victims are classified among the most vulnerable in the society as they suffer stigmatisation and ostracisation by their families and communities,” he said.
The CMD however noted that VVF was preventable and curable while its victims are re-integrated into the society after adequate treatment and psychological care.
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan has successfully defended her Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles title after breezing to the first position on Sunday at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
Amusan set a new Games Record of 12.30s to set a new Games Record and also secure Nigeria’s 10th gold medal in what has been an amazing year.
A 2.4 m/s tailwind denied Amusan the chance of breaking the Games Record in the semi-final.
However, there was no stopping the World Record holder as she breezed to a time of 12.30s to eclipse the 16-year-old 12.65 seconds Games record set by Jamaica’s Brigitte Foster-Hylton in Melbourne, Australia.
Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas came second while Briton Cindy Sember who celebrated her 28th birthday with a win in the semis settled for the bronze.
Speaking to reporters after her win, Tobi Amusan said even though she set a new Games Record, she did not have a properly executed race.
Only a few weeks ago, 25-year-old Amusan broke the World Record with her 12.12 seconds semi-final win before going on to win the world title in Oregon with 12.06s wind-aided time.
Things fall apart in Kaduna, Kano, Ogun, Kwara, Imo, A’Ibom, Ekiti, Rivers, Kebbi, Yobe, Zamfara , others
If the claim by the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, that in-fighting in the Osun State chapter of the party led to its electoral defeat is anything to go by, APC risks suffering the same fate in 20 states.
The reason is not far-fetched. Many state branches are enmeshed in intra-party crises resulting from unresolved supremacy battles and fallouts of recent party primaries.
Investigations across the country show that notwithstanding the call by President Muhammadu Buhari on members to sheath their swords, the aggrieved are not taking their plight in good faith.
While some have dumped the party for other folds, especially the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, others remain but may work against the party in the next elections like in the Osun election where party faithful were alleged to have worked against APC.
Adamu had said internal wrangling between staunch PDP members in Osun led to the party’s failure in the governorship election.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service, he explained that aggrieved party stalwarts said they would not vote if what they wanted was not done.
His words: “There’s a misunderstanding between party members, the APC juggernauts in Osun State APC. These juggernauts have been quarrelling, accusing each other.
“But we were defeated not because we are not good at politics. It was because of what happened between some party members close to the election.
“This has shown that we have a big task ahead. We must see what we can do and change our tactics.
“We must look at ourselves; see if what we are doing in this political journey is right.
“What are those things that are not right? What needs to be corrected so that we get what will lead to success in our journey?”
Sunday Vanguard had reported that PDP candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, scored over 400, 000 votes to defeat APC’s Adegboyega Oyetola who had 375,027 votes. Long before the governorship election, the party had been factionalised in Osun. Oyetola, the incumbent governor, is at daggers drawn with his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, who is the Minister of Interior. The crisis divided the party in Osun into two camps.
In October last year, ahead of its convention, APC inaugurated a national reconciliation committee to reconcile aggrieved members.
Then-Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, explained that the committee was set up to reconcile members who were aggrieved over the outcome of the party’s congresses.
At the end of its work in January this year, the body suffered a setback as the crises were far from over, especially in states like Zamfara, Osun, Kwara and Akwa Ibom.
Sunday Vanguard had reported that some state chapters like Bauchi claimed members of the panel didn’t visit the state.
Meanwhile, the states identified as still troubled by Sunday Vanguard include Lagos, Kano, Gombe, Kaduna, Bauchi, Zamfara, Kwara, Kebbi, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Rivers, Cross River, Imo, Benue, Nasarawa, Abia and Akwa Ibom.
Unease currently pervades the Lagos chapter of the APC, the strong hold of its presidential candidate and National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, following protests by different groups over alleged discrepancies and manipulation perpetrated in the primaries that produced various party’s flag-bearers for the 2023 general polls.
Members of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, and executive members of the party in Lagos had called for a reconciliation meeting as a result of ill-feelings created based on the outcome of the primaries which produced Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as governorship and deputy governorship candidates respectively and other candidates, with a view to closing cracks and reconcile aggrieved members.
The aggrieved parties have kicked against what they called giving tickets to “anointed candidates” over popular will of members by APC leaders.
A reconciliation meeting, however, ended in chaos as suspected political thugs, allegedly sponsored by aggrieved parties, particularly from Lagos Mainland, stormed the venue of the stakeholders’ meeting on Monday at the party’s Secretariat on Acme Road, Ogba.
The thugs were allegedly from two contending factions of the party from Lagos Mainland, with a retiring member of the House of Representatives (name withheld) said to be the leader of one of the groups.
Hamzat, subsequently, calmed frayed nerves in the ensuing melee when he arrived at the state party’s Secretariat. There was an earlier report that the deputy governor was attacked by the thugs to register their displeasure which had been debunked by Hamza’s aide.
The deputy governor, subsequently, after restoring normalcy, handed the meeting over to GAC member and leader of the party in Lagos Central, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, with the mandate to intervene in the crisis and resolve the lingering crisis pending further action.
Another prominent APC leader, Fouad Oki, also addressed the gathering on the need for aggrieved parties to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign in the party as reconciliation has commenced.
Sanwo-Olu, who was absent at the meeting, is expected to preside personally over the the rescheduled meeting at a later date.
Speaking on the crisis, a stakeholder who preferred anonymity, stated, “The Local Government in question is Lagos Mainland which has several knotty issues that need to be cleared and managed.
“The protest is a normal occurrence in situation like this, as party members, it was bound to be, but the deputy governor was able to handle the situation by calming the situation tentatively.”
The alleged imposition of “anointed” candidates during the last national and state assembly primary elections by the leadership of APC in Ondo State polarised the party.
This happened despite the report of a committee set up by the party’s leadership to interface with all stakeholders across the three senatorial districts.
The panel ruled out consensus and supported the conduct of primaries.
Although Governor Rotimi Akeredolu denied imposing candidates, aspirants who lost out in the elections across the 18 council areas claimed that state and party machinery were deployed in support of the “chosen ones”.
One of the aggrieved aspirants told Sunday Vanguard that during a stakeholders meeting held with all the aspirants, the governor and the leadership of the party, led by the state Chairman, Ade Adetimehin, told many of the aspirants not to re-contest owing to complaints from their constituencies of non-performance.
However, Akeredolu reportedly told those who didn’t agree with the decision to test their popularity at the primaries. But they were said to have been shortchanged as the leaders in many of the council areas voted for consensus as against the conduct of primary elections agreed upon by the committee.
Delegates were shocked in many constituencies as designated venues were desolate on the day of the primary, only for results to be announced later.
State Publicity Secretary of the party, Alex Kalejaye, said: “To ensure victory for the party in 2023, the Ondo State chapter, shortly after the recent primaries, set up a formidable reconciliation committee.
“It is a 7-man Committee, under the chairmanship of a former deputy governor, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo.
“The team has the mandate to consider, and dispassionately too, the issues that cropped up before, and during the exercise, identify all the aspirants that are embittered by the process, and look into their grievances.”
Also, the state party Chairman pleaded with aggrieved aspirants, who have challenged the outcome of the primaries in court, to withdraw their suits for out-of-court settlement.
Irrespective of the peace efforts, aggrieved party faithful are adamant in pursuit of what they called justice.
In Ekiti, the Dayo Adeyeye – led pro-Tinubu South West Agenda for Asiwaju, SWAGA, had constituted itself as a parallel state executive council of the APC. And there are fears in many quarters that the division may result in electoral defeats for the party in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Publicity Secretary of the party in Ekiti, Segun Dipe, said all contending issues would be addressed.
He said: “Our presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, is leading the charge for reconciliation and appeasement of aggrieved party members.
“Grievances of aggrieved members in the last gubernatorial, national and state assembly primaries are being addressed.
“Machinery has been set in motion to ensure that aggrieved members are attended to.”
The division between Oyetola and Aregbesola, which played out in penultimate week’s poll, would remain an issue even during next year’s general elections.
Efforts to reconcile the two gladiators proved abortive, partly leading to the party’s defeat.
Aregbesola and his faction, The Osun Progressive, TOP, were said to have mobilised for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the APC presidential primary election, which Tinubu eventually won. The group was said to be indifferent to APC during last week’s election.
The crisis currently rocking the Ogun State chapter of APC began in 2018 due to the disagreement between groups loyal to Governor Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
In the build-up to the 2019 gubernatorial election, Amosun loyalists left APC and migrated to Allied People’s Movement, APM, to actualise their dreams.
After the election, the group returned to APC, but refused to align with the leadership of Chief Yemi Sanusi.
Amosun’s loyalists did not participate in all the party’s congresses, from ward level to the state conducted by the Abiodun-backed group.
They, Amosun’s loyalists, held parallel congresses. Also, the group refused to participate in primary elections held to choose party candidates for different elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
As preparations for the elections gather momentum, the two factions have renewed their rivalry with Amosun’s camp plotting to stop the re-election of Abiodun.
The Amosun group tried all it could to prevent the Abiodun-led faction from deciding the candidates for various positions across the state. But Abiodun, whose group controls the party structure, has vowed that Amosun and his people will fail.
There are pending cases in courts arising from the recently conducted party primaries and congresses. Aggrieved party members are challenging the outcomes of the elections.
The matter is a source of worry to the party leadership given the insistence of embittered members on getting what they termed justice.
Following the primaries that produced Teslim Folarin as APC flag bearer and other candidates, many aggrieved APC leaders alongside their followers have dumped the party for the PDP, Accord Party, AP, Social Democratic Party, SDP, and New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
They had accused Folarin of hijacking the party structure.
Having realised the implication of going into the election divided just like in Osun, the party inaugurated a 24-man peace and reconciliation committee led by Senator Olufemi Lanlehin to resolve all post-primary election disputes and ensure its success in next year’s elections.
Since the inauguration of the committee, Sunday Vanguard reliably gathered that its members have been working to bring all the aggrieved party chieftains back to the fold.
Peace seems to have eluded Abia State APC. The tussle for who is the authentic governorship flag bearer of APC in the state is tearing the party apart.
Leaders of the two factions had met at Ntalakwu in Ikwuano council area where they resolved their differences and confirmed Chief Ikechi Emenike as the party’s sole governorship candidate for the 2023 election and Dr. Kingsley Ononogbu as the state Chairman of the party.
The APC in the state had been divided into two factions led by Senator Chris Adighije and Emenike.
However, the peace meeting was boycotted by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, and the then Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, who belonged to the Adighije faction. A group led by the Secretary of the former Adighije-led group, Perfect Okorie, said his group was not a party to the peace meeting.
Emenike emerged during the party’s governorship primary conducted by the panel set up by the national leadership of the party. Chairman of the APC governorship primary election committee for Abia State, Chief Tony Obiefuna, who declared the result of the primary election in Umuahia, disclosed that Emenike polled 672 votes to defeat Chief Emeka Atuma, Daniel Eke, Chief Obinna Oriaku, and Ogah.
A few hours after the exercise, Ogah also emerged in a parallel governorship primary conducted by a faction of the party.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that Ogah and another governorship aspirant, Chief Daniel Eke, had resorted to litigation to boost their chances of displacing Emenike as the authentic flag bearer of the party.
Eke and Ogah had filed separate suits at the Federal High Court seeking to be declared as the governorship candidate of the party. Eke’s suit came after the peace meeting at Ntalakwu.
Eke has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia to stop both Emenike and Ogah from parading themselves as governorship candidates of the party. Eke, in a suit marked FHC/UM/ 18/96/2022 wants the court to declare the outcomes of the two parallel primaries as unlawful and invalid, stressing that it did not follow due process.
Ogah is kicking against the recognition of Emenike as governorship candidate by the national leadership of the party, insisting that he remains the authentic flag bearer having emerged from direct primaries.
Recently, the Court of Appeal, Owerri, dismissed a motion filed by Ogah, seeking leave to challenge the judgment of the Abia State High Court which affirmed Emenike’s candidacy.
Two chieftains of the party, Ugochukwu Okoroafor Okoro and Egwu Clifford Chukwudi, have also filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Umuahia, against Emenike and three others as defendants, alleging that their names were removed as delegates for the party primaries.
It is not known whether elders of the party in the state such as Kalu, Nkiru Onyejeocha,Senator Chris Adighije, Friday Nwosu and Stanley Ohajuruka, among others, have made any effort to resolve the crisis.
Kano State chapter of APC is faced with a lot of hurdles ranging from backlogs of suits to gale of defections among others.
There are fears that if the issues are not properly addressed, they may affect the chances of the party in the general elections.
Reliable information available to Sunday Vanguard revealed that a total of eight court cases were filed against the party at the various law courts.
The Secretary of APC in the state, Ibrahim Zakari Sarina, at a meeting recently, revealed that the party is currently facing eight court cases filed by some aggrieved members.
Sarina expressed concern that the court cases may affect its chances of winning elections.
His words: “The issue of lawsuits is a serious concern because we know how it creates problems for a party. This is not in Kano alone, court cases against APC are everywhere across the country. We saw how APC members dragged the party to court in many places in this country.
“In Kano, we have had at least eight court cases so far. We do not know what is going to happen tomorrow, but we are facing eight court cases in this state filed by aggrieved party members.
“This has a repercussion because you could win an election but a court judgement may be against the victory. We, therefore, call on the APC national body to see how it would resolve this issue of court cases.”
As a result of differences in the party, many chieftains have defected.
Those who dumped APC in Kano include former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau and his followers, ex-Speaker, Alhassan Rurum, former Chief of Staff to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, Ali Makoda, former SSA to President Muhammadu Buhari, Kawu Sumaila, and former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin Kofa.
The Kaduna State chapter of the APC is also experiencing crises. After the governorship primary in the state, an in-law to President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Sani Sha’aban, had protested against the congress which produced 2,619 delegates.
A few days ago, no fewer than 15 of its chieftains dumped the party over what they described as lack of internal democracy.
The chieftains who left the party include Mallam Audu Bode, Alhaji Shuabu Ahmed, Habila Latu, Boniface Ubandoma, Mr. Yakubu Simon, Jashua Peter, Camio Bitrus, Patrick Paul (Pato), Mr. Samuel Wyah, Zaka Makoshi, Jonathan Fedelix, Barnabas Samuel (Barry), Shua’ibu Yusuf, Alexander Danladi Lulu and Samuel Ibrahim.
APC Legal Adviser in Jema’a Local Government Area, Ibrahim Samuel, in a letter addressed to his Ward Chairman, said: “My decision to dump APC was based on the internal crises in the party, lack of internal democracy and total disrespect”.
Two others, Barnabas Samuel and Ibrahim Samuel Oganto, in a statement also said the names that emanated during the party congress were different from the ones agreed to be used for primaries.
Meanwhile, a reconciliation committee has been set up to address the grievances of members in the state.
They are to resolve all post-primary election crises in Kaduna.
North-West Zonal Publicity Secretary of APC, Malam Musa Mailafiya Mada, disclosed this.
His words: “The committee will be saddled with the responsibility of reaching out to co-contestants of all the elective positions who did not win their primaries for the forthcoming 2023 general elections and other aggrieved party members in the state.
“The Local Government Reconciliatory Committees will also be constituted afterwards.
Respected party members were nominated by the participants for the task and the governor assured the meeting of his readiness to give the necessary support for the success of the committee’s assignment before the campaign starts.”
The internal wrangling in Kebbi APC predated the party primaries. The party was already factionalised before the exercise. But issues came to a head after the primaries, leading to the defections of its key leaders including former Governor Adamu Aliero.
The ex-governor and his supporters defected to the PDP as a protest against what he claimed was done to him.
There has been a gale of defections in Kebbi APC. A few days ago, thousands of its members dumped APC in Gulma town in Argungu Local Government Area.
The defectors were led by Alhaji Mansur Adamu Gulma Yargyra, a former House of Representatives aspirant. Mansur, who spoke on behalf of the defectors, said he left the APC due to injustice allegedly done to many members.
Receiving the defectors in Gulma, a former Senate Leader, Senator Yahya Abdullahi, expressed joy over their defection, saying their coming into the PDP meant they are comfortable with the leadership he exhibited while in APC.
Akwa Ibom State chapter of APC has been in the news over the outcome of the recently concluded primaries.
This situation has deepened the ill-feelings between key stakeholders of the party who participated in the exercise and their teeming supporters.
Immediately after the party primaries, one of the aspirants and immediate past Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Senator Ita Enang, approached the court to seek redress over the outcome which produced Mr. Akan Udofia as APC governorship candidate.
Similarly, retired Deputy Inspector General of Police and senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom APC North-West Senatorial District seat, Udom Ekpoudom, is challenging the rerun senatorial primary in which Sen Godswill Akpabio, immediate past Niger Delta Affairs Minister, is laying claims to its outcome.
Akpabio, after stepping down for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during the presidential primary in Abuja, had returned to Akwa Ibom to participate in the said rerun.
There are concerns in some quarters that the candidacy tussle and exit of key stakeholders from the party may affect APC’s outing in the forthcoming elections.
A former National Secretary of the party, Senator Akpan Akpanudoedehe, had earlier dumped APC on account of a high-wire intra-party squabble.
In Rivers, the differences among party leaders are still unresolved. The matter, which is solely a battle over who controls party structure, seems to have defied all efforts at resolving. Up until now, camps loyal to the immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator Magnus Abe, are against each other in the battle for APC’s soul.
The crisis took a different dimension last week when notable members of the party took turns to tender their letters of resignation.
Apart from Prince Tonye Princewill, an ally of Amaechi, who attributed his resignation to the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, others did not state clearly the reason for their resignations.
Others who dumped APC in Rivers include a former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, a former member of the House of Representatives, Chidi Wihioka; ex-member of the House Representatives, Chigbo Eligwe; Golden Chioma, a former Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party and one-time member of the Rivers State House of Assembly; Dr. Dawari George, a former member of the House of Representatives, and Mr. Marvin Yobana, a prominent youth leader in the Ogoni axis of the state. Others are Owen Obediah, a lawyer and former CTC Chairman of Andoni Local Government Area; King Tony Gboms, a chieftain of the APC in Obio Akpor Local Government Area; Chief Friday Nkee-ee Numbari, a former member of the state House of Assembly, and Mr. Celestine Akpobari, a prominent right activist.
At the last count, no fewer than 50 APC members have left the party.
In Nasarawa, the APC has been dragged to court over post-primary elections issues.
A House of Representatives aspirant, Mohammed Al-Basir, has taken the party to Federal High Court over alleged irregularities in the conduct of the primaries in the state.
Other aspirants who weren’t satisfied with the outcome of their elections are also kicking.
Nonetheless, Governor Abdullahi Sule isn’t relenting in ensuring the party is united ahead of 2023 elections.
In Benue, the emergence of Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia as APC governorship candidate seems to have stoked a crisis among party stakeholders.
Leaders like Senator Barnabas Gemade, who contested the election, had kicked against Alia’s candidacy.
He had maintained that the party failed to hold the gubernatorial primary election as stipulated by the guidelines of APC.
The choice of Sam Ode as a running mate to Alia is also a source of contention in Benue South. Stakeholders from the zone rejected him, insisting they have not had any conversation with him and wondered why he was declared the deputy governorship candidate.
Other states where intra-party crisis seems to also constitute a threat to APC as 2023 approaches include Ebonyi, Kwara, Imo, Cross River, Bauchi, Zamfara and Gombe. The party faces tough battles in these states as the 2023 elections approach. Checks revealed that except aggrieved members are pacified, the party’s performances may be close to the Osun scenario.
As a result of the meeting between the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers Sate, a 14-member panel has been set up to consult and make recommendations which both men will consider.
A top party source familiar with the development informed Sunday Vanguard that the membership of the panel was yet to be made public because some of them had yet to be officially informed.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, explained that the panel is expected to take off with “immediate effect.”
The PDP has been enmeshed in crisis since Atiku picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate for the 2023 election.
The development went contrary to the thinking in some quarters that Wike was the natural choice after he placed second in the primary which produced Atiku as presidential candidate.
Only two weeks ago, Atiku and Wike exchanged hot words over the running mate issue.
This led to the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting which attempted to broker truce.
“We’ve made appreciable progress within the last 24 hours following the meeting between our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike”, the source said.
“The meeting, which took the enemies of the our party by surprise, has brought down tension and restored hope about a speedy resolution of what our opponents consider as a major conflict. “
Asked which conditions have been given and what concessions have been made, the source said, “The issue of conditions did not arise when both men set aside their differences and spoke to each other frankly.
“Their followers will definitely take a cue from this and fall in line. What is now on ground is seeking a way forward.
“The recommendations, which the 14-member committee make, will be considered and action taken. I can assure you that the campaign council will follow through afterwards.”
In response to questions from newsmen on the crisis within the party, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, expressed confidence that all outstanding issues will soon to resolved.
He said, “The PDP is a very large family and like most human families there are issues but I’m glad to inform you that we have organs, processes and procedures for resolving our issues.
“We are not like the sinking All Progressives Congress, I don’t recall a meeting by their Board of Trustees, our BoT just met and have set up a committee to mediate between our candidate and Governor Wike.”
Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and his immediate predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, were yesterday engaged in verbal war over rigging allegations by the latter against the former in respect of the 2019 governorship election.
Amosun, a former governor of Ogun State and one of the aspirants in the recently concluded presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had fired the first salvo while receiving an award at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Abeokuta club where he claimed that the 2019 governorship election was rigged in favour of the sitting governor.
The former governor also claimed that the 2019 governorship election in which he supported the candidate of Allied People’s Movement (APM), Hon. AbdulKabir Akinlade, was won by his candidate.
He therefore vowed to ensure that Abiodun does not return as the governor of the state in the next political dispensation, asking his supporters to be on the lookout for the next line of action.
But his outburst drew instant reactions not only from Governor Abiodun and his political allies but also from the state’s chapter of APC.
Speaking at the awards ceremony in Abeokuta, Amosun had said: “I am elated to have heard people saying that when we were there, we have done the works of four, five past governors combined. We are happy that people appreciated the little we have done.
“You know clearly my stand on this matter. Just wait. Very soon, you will hear from us. My stand is where I stand. I am not in support of this administration, he (Abiodun) must be removed.”
The senator representing Abeokuta Central Senatorial district revealed some of the people that some of the people involved in rigging out his preferred candidate, Akinlade, had confessed their roles in the alleged rigging exercise and also apologised.
He alleged that there was a gang up against his person during the elections, adding that he had since moved on.
Abiodun fires back, says I won’t be distracted by self-delusioned person
In apparent response to Amosun’s claims, Governor Abiodun, while speaking with newsmen shortly after the grand finale of the 50th anniversary of the Abeokuta Club, said he would not be distracted by someone who has a problem with self delusion, adding that “Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance”.
The governor said he would rather focus on his mandate than take issues with anyone who wants to play God. He also called on the people of the state to ignore his predecessor.
He said: “I will not be distracted by any person or persons who have a problem with self delusion.
“I will not be distracted by any person who does not appreciate that Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance.
“We are all stakeholders in this commonwealth called Ogun State. I am not going to join issues with anyone that wants to play God. I will leave them to God.
“God can deal with whoever is challenging His authority and wants to play God. All I can say is that what we stand for in Ogun State is an administration that is committed to providing purposeful leadership and purposeful infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the state.”
Abiodun, who vowed that his administration would continue to work against campaigns of discord that could disrupt the peace and continued development of the state, added that his administration remained committed to the development of all sectors of the state economy.
He, however, expressed disappointment that a former governor and a sitting governor in 2019 would cry that he was rigged out during the election.
“How can we that are on the outside take on an incumbent and then be accused of rigging out an incumbent in the same party? Anyone can explain their failure whichever way they like. Anyone can also begin to pant and threaten that they will do whatever,” he added.
Abiodun who also noted that his administration would as a matter of urgency prioritise the development of the President Muhammadu Buhari Estate, added that before the end of the year, a minimum of 250 structures would be built in the estate.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari Estate, which is one of the projects I inherited from my predecessor, in another one or two months, you will see that buildings will begin to be visible in that estate.
“I do not have a doubt that before the end of the year, there will be a minimum of about 250 medium upper beautiful befitting structures in PMB Estate,” Abiodun noted.
The governor, who noted that his administration would continue to give Abeokuta, the state capital all the attention it deserves, said that the Ijaiye-Oke-EJigbo-Ake Road, Saje-Mokola Road as well as the Onikolobo-Adigbe Road are some of the roads slated for attention by his administration.
Abiodun also informed members of the Abeokuta Club that all the road projects embarked upon by his administration since it came on board were done after due consultation with traditional rulers and elder statesmen.
In his welcome address, the President of the Abeokuta Club; Tokunbo Odebunmi, said that the club is not just a social club but a cultural movement which analyses the past with a view to protect the future, adding that members of the club would continue to embrace oneness and love in Egbaland.
While calling on the new inductees of the club to cooperate with government at all levels to make the country a better place, he also charged them to be law-abiding.
Odebunmi, however, declared that the people of Egbaland are ready to continue to support the present administration in the state.
Speaking, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, while appreciating Abiodun for the housing and road projects in the state capital, submitted that “Governor Abiodun is a man of his words”.
Amosun suffering from political amnesia, deserves pity – Ogun APC
Joining the face-off between Governor Abiodun and his predecessor yesterday, the Ogun State chapter of APC yesterday called on the general public to pray for Senator Senator Amosun, saying that he was obviously suffering from “political amnesia and out-of-office loneliness.”
The APC, in a statement issued in Abeokuta by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, faulted the comment reportedly credited to Amosun that the incumbent governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, did not win the 2019 governorship election.
The party described the ex-governor’s claim as “an after-lunch belching of a man suffering from political amnesia and loneliness.”
The statement reads: “The attention of our party has been drawn to a statement reportedly credited to the immediate past governor of Ogun State and the Chief Promoter of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
“The quoted statement was not only an insult to the psyche of the people of Ogun State, but also a sad indication that the former governor is yet to purge himself of extreme arrogance and intolerance that were his trademarks, which earned him suspension from our party, even as a sitting governor.
“The APC, therefore, calls on the general public, and particularly our esteemed members, to pity and pray for the former governor as he obviously suffers from political amnesia, loneliness and absolute lack of touch with reality.
“There is absolute no truth in the specious utterance of the former governor who is obviously still sulking from the electoral defeat of his surrogate party in 2019.
“Our party and candidate not only won fair and square, the victory of Prince Dapo Abiodun was also attested to by his co-contestants, many of whom later joined APC and are still in APC.
“Never in the history of governorship elections in Ogun State have candidates of other parties so instantaneously congratulated and visited the Governor-elect, as it happened in the case of Governor Dapo Abiodun, whose Iperu country home hosted candidates and leaders of other parties, including the late Prince Buruji Kashamu, Otunba Rotimi Paseda, Mr. Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka (GNI), and Otunba Gbenga Daniel, among others.
“It is on record that many of the then opposition figures like former Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Alhaja Salmat Badru, the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Rueben Abati, GNI and others served in the Economic Transition Committee chaired by Mr. Tunde Lemo, which was set up by Prince Dapo Abiodun immediately after the elections.
“As provided for in a democracy, the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement challenged the results of the election at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abeokuta and lost. His ramshackle petition was dismissed.
“While confirming the victory of Governor Abiodun at the Saturday, March 9, 2019 election, the tribunal led by Justice Yusuf Halilu, in its judgment, stated that: ‘This petition does not only fail, it is destined to fail, it fails and hereby dismissed.’
“Not satisfied, the APM and its candidate went on appeal at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan and later at the Supreme Court where they also lost.
“It is remarkable that in all the petition and court cases, the judgments were unanimously passed without any dissenting voice from the Tribunal members and the judges at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
“If the APM was as popular as the former Governor wants us to believe, he would have contested his senatorial election on the platform of the APM and not on the platform of the APC.
“We recollect vividly that it took the support of Prince Dapo Abiodun and the open appeal of our father and leader, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who pleaded during his visits to all the wards in Ogun Central Senatorial District that our members should consider the interest of the party by voting for Amosun.
“Having been witnessing the frustrating exodus of his former political allies who openly said they were tired of endemic lies, and his failure to wrest the party structures from the incumbent governor, the recourse by Senator Amosun to “elated” after-lunch belching is understandable and pitiable.
“Furthermore, Amosun is still pained that despite the violence wreaked on our members, despite unfinished projects whose costs were mostly paid 100 per cent upfront, despite the handover without a handover note, despite the wanton destruction of public facilities including pipe-borne water taps in Abeokuta, and notwithstanding the untoward provocations and shenanigans, Governor Abiodun remained focused and determined to leave Ogun State much better than he met it.
“While commending Governor Dapo Abiodun for his giant strides since assumption of office, we urge him to remain focused on continuous delivery of the dividends of democracy for which Ogun people elected him; and not to join issues with sore losers.”
Amosun’s ally accuses former governor of lying to Ogun people
A former close associate of Amosun, Barrister Femi Allen, yesterday took a swipe at the former governor over his statement that the 2019 governorship election in the state was rigged in favour of the incumbent governor.
Allen, in apparent response to a statement credited to the former governor while speaking at an award ceremony organised by the Abeokuta Club in Abeokuta, also flayed Amosun for lying to the people that those behind the alleged 2019 elections fraud had apologised to him.
According to the legal practitioner, the emergence of Governor Abiodun was divine and triumphed over the scheme and political machination of the former governor, wondering why Amosun was still embittered three years after his ploy to install a successor failed.
Allen, who disclosed that he was part of the inner caucus of the SIA political group from 2007 to 2011 when Senator Amosun became the governor, declared that the political camp was the highest culprit in manipulation of the highest order towards power grabbing at the state level then.
He further berated the former governor for mobilising his supporters to pelt President Muhammadu Buhari and his entourage during a campaign rally held at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, on February 2019, all in the bid to create a fake impression that he was in control of Ogun State politics.
While reiterating that the Governor Abiodun administration in the state is “God’s own project”, Allen said that the former governor and his co-travellers would fail again in their scheme to stop the reelection bid of Abiodun in 2023.
“My candid advice to the day dreamers hoping to team up against the re-election of PDA come March 2023 is to think twice because God’s own project is still very much at work in Ogun State.
“No weapon fashioned against PDA and APC in Ogun State shall prosper. No amount of merger or absorption of lightweight political desperados shall overrun the God’s ordained project of PDA.
“The earlier the better lesser god retires from the political space of Ogun State to avert political oblivion.
“I had the privilege of partaking in the political activities of the immediate past governor from 2007 up to the time he was eventually elected in 2011. If there is any camp that had involved itself in any manipulation of the highest order towards power grabbing at the state level then, Amosun’s camp was the highest culprit.
“What transpired in that camp throughout the election petition process up to the Court of Appeal still remains fresh in the memory of those who played active roles then of which l was part of the inner caucus.
“The truth about the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun (PDA) was that it was God’s ordained project that no lesser self acclaimed god can stop.
“PDA went through the thick and thin of political opposition within the ruling party led by SIA that culminated into the shameful act of disgracing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whose entourage was decorated with pure water and stones all in the name of creating fake impression that they were in control.
“February 2019 will never be forgotten so soon in the history of Ogun State. The election proper came, PDA floored APM even with all the resources and power of the ruling governor who only God knows how many billions went into the project!
“PDA was like the David of the olden days who defeated Goliath. Alas, everything ended up at the Election Petition Tribunal and the rest is history today.
“The usual tactics deployed at the tribunal to upturn the God’s Own project of PDA was brought into fore and that included falsification of substantial numbers of results in various polling booths across the state, all aimed at upturning the election of PDA fell like a pack of cards.
“I can categorically state here that the political game of any man-made god proving to be the power broker of Ogun State has since been laid to rest and may the Lord rest their political souls.”
Nigeria yesterday overtook South Africa to become the leading African team on the medals table at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, with another gold medal to its total haul in Birmingham.
On Friday which was Day 8 at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, Team Nigeria trailed South Africa in the eighth position, with a total of seven Gold, three Silver, and six Bronze medals, making a total of 16 medals.
But yesterday, Day 9, the Nigerian athletes dominated the Women’s F55-57 Shot Put event, with Eucharia Iyayi winning the Gold medal, while Ugochi Alam clinched the Bronze.
Iyiazi, threw a new Commonwealth Games record of 10.03m to win the gold medal for Nigeria.
Iyiazi competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China where she won a gold medal in both the women’s shot putt F57/F58 event and the women’s discus throw F57/F58 event.
At the Beijing Paralympics, Iyiazi set the world and Paralympic record for the F58 class in shot put and discus.
The Nigerian women’s 4x100m relay quartet of Joy Udo-Gabriel, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nzubechi Nwokocha moved a step closer to making history as the first women’s relay team to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal after sealing a place in Sunday’s final at the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Fresh from the team’s Nigeria and African record-setting 42.22 seconds run in Oregon, the USA at the World Athletics Championships last month, the quartet broke 43 seconds again, running 42.59 seconds to qualify for the final.
The time is the fastest in the semifinals ahead of England (42.72) who ran without 100m bronze medalist, Daryl Neita and Jamaica who won the other semifinal in 43.66 seconds without Tokyo Olympics double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The Nwokocha-led quartet will now be seeking to become the first Nigerian women’s relay team (women’s 4x100m and 4x400m) to win a Commonwealth Games title.
Nigeria has won silver (2014) and bronze (1990 and 2018) in the 4x100m event in past editions and will feel it is time to move up to gold this time.
The Nigerians will hope to call on Tobi Amusan to run in one of the legs after the reigning world champion and record holder in the 100m hurdles must have successfully defended her Commonwealth Games sprint hurdles title about two and half hours earlier.
Meanwhile, former schoolboy international Seye Ogunlewe anchored Nigeria’s women’s 4x100m relay team to its third straight final after winning the second semifinal heat in 38.85 seconds, the third fastest time in the event behind England who ran 38.48 seconds to win the first semifinal heat and Trinidad and Tobago (38.84) who came second behind the host.
The Nigerians will be seeking to learn from their predecessors who dropped the baton four years ago at the Gold Coast, Australia and subsequently got disqualified.